Last Post (…Mile, Kilometre, or Lap)

Sometimes you know that your time is up, and this is that time.  It’s time to hang up my blogging ‘shoes’.  I have been blogging on this site for just over three years.  It’s been a great ride.  Well most of it, anyway.

In the few years before I reached my 40th birthday (a ‘few’ years ago) I was somewhat addicted to long distance running.  This was very definitely a stint of over-exercising for me.  Tell me that I was a “jogger” as some people liked to call themselves, and I was offended.  I was a serious runner, in it for the long haul… literally.

My very expensive running shoes in retirement.

I wasn’t much into events.  Running with masses of people destroyed the peace of running for me.  I did a few races but it just wasn’t for me.  However my great aim was to run in the Christchurch Marathon in 2005.

I did it, but only just.  Within the first kilometre I pulled my right hamstring.  Stubbornness (and addiction) kicked in, and although I was in an extreme amount of pain, I decided to keep running.  Actually I was used to running in pain.  My knees never coped with long-distance running.

I was doing the half marathon so only had around 20 kilometres to go.  Of course, the further I ran the worse the pain got.  I never got to that “break through the wall” stage, but I simply kept running.

At the beginning of the last lap, the bell was sounding, just in case I didn’t know I was on my last lap.  Oh, I knew.  By then I was counting every metre, but the sound of the bell told me I just had to run through this park and down the road to the finish line.

I did it.  I couldn’t walk for the next three days.  But I did it.

I admit that this past year of blogging has been a little like that for me, sadly.  I was somewhat addicted.  I have loved blogging but I had hit some issues that were creating pain.

You see, as you will realise I have been blogging under my own name.  That has been very important to me, for a number of reasons but perhaps mostly because I have always believed that until we can speak out in our own names, we won’t crush the stigma of mental illness.

Ok, so I admit defeat (for now).

It’s not so much outright stigma that hit me, but the very real difficulty of protecting the privacy of those I care about.  That wasn’t just my family, but those who were having an impact on my life, and that I wanted to include in my writing here.  Mostly I just couldn’t, unless (as you would have witnessed on a number of occasions) I wrote a very vague, cryptic post.  Sometimes that worked.  Sometimes it didn’t.

Stigma came in as a second issue, in ways that I hadn’t expected.  Stigma is so much more than a public issue.  It is also very personal,painful and sometimes used against us in ways that anyone even realises.  That’s no excuse, but it is a very real explanation of some things that have gone on for me, particularly in the past year.

Calling it quits to blogging on this site is really difficult. My site is me.  Do you know that feeling?  It’s me in so many ways, but now I leave it. It is something that I have considered long and hard. Unfortunately it is my only sensible choice.  I have been silenced (for want of a better word).

To my readers, and perhaps particularly those who have followed this blog for a considerable amount of time, I want to say thank you.  Thank you for reading, and thank you for your comments.  Thank you too, for the ‘likes’.  Whatever way you have opted to interact with me, thank you.  You are the people who made blogging worthwhile. Thank you for making blogging an amazing experience for me.

So what of the future?  I don’t know where the future will take me.  I simply have to admit that this race is finished.  My feet (and my hamstring) are sore, but there is a future (somewhere) ahead.  Time will tell where that future will lead.

 “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

― Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

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31 thoughts on “Last Post (…Mile, Kilometre, or Lap)

  1. Good for you for being brave enough to start blogging, for having passion enough to keep blogging and for having the strength and wisdom to know when to quit!! Hat’s off you, Cate!! I’m proud of you for all of these reasons and many more!!
    Love,
    Kathy

    1. Thanks Cat. You know listening to my own voice and then acting on it has been a great lesson in all this. For a while, I lost confidence in that voice, but I’m starting to realise that I’ve gained it again, and that is a very good thing. 🙂

  2. I will miss you. I know the “should I hang it up” issue and have considered it myself. I have also considered running a half-marathon and chickened out. Maybe I’ll do it this year. Good luck and best wishes to you.

    1. Thank you. It’s a really hard one to know, isn’t it. I hummed and haahed for a while there but it feels right now. As for the half-marathon, do it sometime. It is such a sense of achievement to know that you have trained and done it. You’ll know when the time is right. 🙂

  3. bbbr

    Am sorry to see you go.

    Know we don’t comment much, but read often. Had to make a similar decision on our nearly two year old blog too. Not easy but if it`s what you have to do, then I hope you find other ways to get what you did from blogging.

  4. Ah bummer. I may now have been around for quite a while (scary that I would even have missed this last post) but now that I’m finally back, this is sad news for me.

    But, of course you have to do what you have to do. Are you keeping the facebook page?

    1. Bummer is so appropriate! You have no idea how much. I haven’t yet decided what to do with my Facebook page. To be honest I keep making my mind up… and then changing it. I think I’m just going to have to give it some time, and see what happens.

  5. I will be sad to see you go. Although I haven’t commented or “liked” much, I’ve always read. And your reasons here are just some of the reasons I blog under an assumed name (and even still, I have struggled to write much of anything in the last year in order to protect those I love from the very few people who know my real identity). I hope that even if you don’t continue to write publicly, that personal writing or reflection will be a part of your life, for as long as you find it helpful. Wishing you a happy, healthy future. xo.

    1. Thank you Nataly. I really appreciate that you read my blog and that you understand my reasons for bringing it to a close. I think that it is a very good thing when we can balance our own needs to write with the need to protect those we care about. Take care of yourself. 🙂

  6. Hi, Cate! I just found your Blog. I feel so much for you! It can’t be an easy decision to make, quitting something you love.
    I can understand so much why using your own name is so damn tough and gut-wrenching, exhilarating, awesome, and scary. I learned something like that years ago when I started posting on an opinion site (kind of like Soda Head), like the naïve young thing I was ( and still am haha), using my own name. In the end, it was awful. Although in retrospect I knew nobody would care, it still messed up with my head a lot. A lot.
    I sort of vowed to myself that I’d use anonymity in public stuff from then on.
    I feel for you. I know you are going to keep on writing! From the depths of your soul. And expressing yourself beautifully, all of you. Take care! All the best for your wonderful past, present, and future. And I hope one day I’ll run into your writing, again. Randomly and with a BANG, like all the best things there are to run into out there. 🙂

    1. Hey. I’m sorry that you found my blog at the end, but if it’s any consolation, I am leaving it up so if you feel like reading more, it will be here. As you say, writing under your real name has it’s problems, although I still believe that there must be a way. I know several bloggers who do so successfully. Thank you for finding my blog and I too, hope we run into each other again. 😉

  7. Den

    Ever late to a party, it does not surprise me to arrive here for the every first time to read your last post. In fact a regular reader of your words linked me here because your post dealt with what she and I and another friend had been discussing. I met the first friend, M about 11 years ago on a message board and over time we have formed a sibling like bond through our correspondence. A third, E, joined us two years ago. Together we write of everything in our lives without fear of judgment and without withholding sensitive details of our most private thoughts. Two of us had blogs, and now just M which has been scarcely posted upon of late. My blog was of personal experiences one would call unusual or mystical so to protect my family, friends and myself I use initials instead of names and kept my own identity secret. The intended two dozen posts became 70 before I decided the writing was really only intended to sort my thoughts, record events and to think things through. A journal would do just as well. My only readers were my my four friends and I really didn’t need their feedback for a reason to write. So, perhaps you will continue to write for all the reasons that you once ran, for the peace of it, the joy of it and for the lovely euphoric way it helped make everything in your life make sense. Just as you didn’t need people see you run for your satisfaction, so too can you write for the same results. I wish you well, I wish you peace and I do wish you will continue writing for the person with the great mind and great soul – you.

    1. Hi D, welcome to my party. You know some of the best parties are the one’s we arrived late to. Or so I tell myself. Thank you so much for explaining your take on writing and how it works for you and your friends. I love that you have found a way to make it work. That is surely the goal for all of us. The big party is not necessarily what will meet out needs, and I very much appreciate you taking the time to describe that. I will continue writing, even if it is just for myself, or even if it is just sporadically. Meanwhile I do still write at http://acanvasoftheminds.com/

      1. I’m the M. 🙂 I read this morning, did emails and then never got back here!

        I understand your conundrum, Cate. When I started blogging my intention was to share the “real me”, especially since I hoped it might help plug my writing and either get me a job or get my book sold! Instead I ended up drifting away from sharing as too many people from too many places (neighbour, family, etc) started to read my blog.

        Like Den said, it’s a topic we’ve been discussing in depth lately. The third friend, “E” sent me thoughts to share with you. I’ll email them.

        Love
        M

        🙂

      2. Hi Michelle. You solve my wondering on just who that M was. Thank you. I think you raise a good issue, that over time our reasoning behind blogging changed. Mine was much like yours to begin with but then I wanted/needed to express more of myself. Unfortunately because of some of the difficulties I have faced over the past three years, that has become difficult. I would like to keep writing in some form. I guess that will work out in time. 🙂

  8. Hi Cate,

    You were a voice that reached me when I was a beginner blogger. I have always enjoyed the connections we made though they were infrequent. I guess I could say I’m sorry to hear you’re leaving but that would only be considering my perspective. I’m pleased you are stepping into new shoes and I wish you the best with every step. If you ever need to catch your breath you can find me flailing away as usual here in Canada.

    Peace and take care, Brett

      1. Thank you Cate, you are always welcome here and i would get a kick out of meeting you in person. I’m sure you are more interesting than the comma’s and characters i know you by. Keep in touch.

  9. When I was just a novice in this blogging world you encouraged me and showed me how to share part of myself through my words, simply by doing the same yourself. It’s never easy but your honesty and writing skill always shone through. Take care Cate on whatever path you take next. I’m sure you’ll be successful

    1. Thank you. Your words mean a lot to me because if I did that, then I achieved something. You take care of yourself too. I hope you find some relief some days. I know that is a hard thing to achieve, but I guess relief can come in all kinds of forms for us. I hope you get some. 🙂

  10. Pingback: Hope… I’m Back Writing It | Infinite Sadness… or hope?

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